NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Ammodytes tobianus Linnaeus, 1758

Synonym
  • Ammodytes lancea Cuvier, 1829
Vernacular Name
Small Sandeel, Smooth Sand-eel, Sandeel, Sand-eel, Lesser Sandeel, Smooth Sandeel, Lesser Sand-eel
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Conservation status
IUCN: DD
Value of species
Remarks
Detail
Ammodytes tobianus is restricted to the northeastern Atlantic, where it is found from Iceland and Norway south to Portugal, including the Baltic and North Seas. It sometimes strays into the western Mediterranean Sea (Whitehead et al. 1986). It has been recorded at depths ranging from one to 96 metres. Prior to the year 2000, there was little separation of catch statistics between A. tobianus and A. marinus. However, this has improved (ICES 2007). Despite being recorded there, this species is not common in Norwegian waters and does not occur there regularly. If it is present in Norwegian waters, it is greatly outnumbered by Ammodytes marinus (Naevdal and Thorkildsen 2002). Ammodytes tobianus has a primarily inshore, coastal distribution (Donaghy et al. 1995) and is primarily associated with sandy bays and beaches, including the inter-tidal zone and in estuaries. In the Mondego estuary, Portugal from January 2003 to December 2008 this species was more abundant in the autumn/winter (Primo et al. 2011). This species makes distinct vertical shifts between inactive stages, during which they stay in the sand, and active stages, during which they forage (van Deurs et al. 2011). Adults feed on zooplankton and some large diatoms (Bauchot 1987). They hibernate in winter buried in sand at depths of 20 to 50 cm (Muus and Nielsen 1999). Within the family Ammodytidae, the genus Ammodytes shows the widest distribution among the family, from temperate to boreal waters. However, none of the species are found in the southern hemisphere (Ida et al. 1994). The Ammodytidae are considered keystone species, which play a significant role in the marine ecosystem as prey items for a variety of predators including fishes, marine mammals and birds. Fluctuations in sandeel abundance have been shown to have direct effects on some seabird populations (Furness and Tasker 2000).
Book reference
  • Соколов Н.Ю. Каталог колекції круглоротих і риб Державного природознавчого музею НАН України // Наукові записки Державного природознавчого музею. – Львів, 2004. – Т.19. – С. 15-28.
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Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Animalia
Eumetazoa
Chordata
Gnathostomata
Actinopterygii
Perciformes
Ammodytidae
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